I just celebrated my birthday a week ago and it was so lovely to be touching base with all the special people in my life for an entire week. My paternal side of the family, highschool friends, university friends, all reached out to spend dinners with me. I never lacked friends, I lucked out.
I was tense the whole ride from QC to Pasig. Hana had invited us all over for dinner- an announcement! There were only three things running in my mind:
Is she pregnant, getting married, or moving back to her hometown for good?
When I got there- a nice cozy Italian wine bar and deli somewhere in Ortigas, Ken had already been seated. I had met him on one other occasion at a penthouse lounge in Makati on a rainy night. We agreed on the three things that were running through our heads.
“I’m going to murder her if she says anything as mundane as graduating.” Ken said. We had reached a stage that graduating from college was a bit trivial a hmm, “..meh.” Andrea arrived next, also feeling anxious- at the edge of her seat. We had never met her before but somehow we eased into eachother’s company. Why would someone bring us all together for an announcement? But then again this was Hana and she could be extra. That’s how crazy and spontaneous she was.
When everyone else had arrived, there were seven of us in total, she introduced us each with stellar credentials. I zoomed out and looked at that particular moment. “Oh,” I thought- so this is how it really is. We all looked put together, like we had our lives figured out.
Operations manager, entrepreneur, finance, just passed UP LAW, engineer, branding and advertising –
impressive on the outside, still full of doubts on the inside- as if it’s not.. enough? But Hana was always the glue and cheerleader of everyone- she found the positive and good side of everything.
The announcement was that she was settling down in her hometown and leaving Manila. We all sighed and laughed and felt happy about how it wasn’t about boys or babies just yet. Of course, Hana delivered. We knew it.
After that night and after celebrating my birthday I kind of felt empty though. I had already achieved my short-term goals- what was next?
What else do I want out of life?
Do I need to reevaluate my dreams at this point?
Or just keep pushing?
I’ve been trying to keep an open mind about where life takes me. I have this set long-term plan but I try to be flexible enough for things and opportunities that come my way. The thing is, I’m not quite sure about my long-term plans. I’ve been resting, trying to catch my breath for the upheaval year that was 2017- and now I’m just coasting. Can I rest for a bit more, or do I start hustling?
I ate the churros I bought at ministop as I stood by the gate to my house looking at the sky. I almost broke my neck watching the super blue blood moon. The last time I had seen a similar view was a lunar eclipse when I was 18 years old. I sometimes can’t believe that ten years has passed since then and when I think about it, it was almost this time ten years ago that he passed away. Just thirteen more days before that day.
I wonder sometimes where they are now. The people who have left this earth earlier than we did. It’s melancholic to think about how much they loved and cared for us but they’re not here anymore. I think about my grandma’s wrinkly hands that caressed my hair while I slept, my dad’s laughter and warmth, the flowers Mags always left by the gate, the way his mind worked and how there was never an awkward pause in our conversations.
Ten years ago, life seemed so exciting and new. I was living in a new city, meeting new people, learning so many different things. Ten years later, I’m afraid. The more time moves, the more people we lose. Who was next? I’m afraid I won’t be able to take it anymore and fall apart.